posted at 7:21 pm on April 25, 2017 by John Sexton
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Diaz, denounced the ongoing violence in the country, though she was careful not to single out one side or the other. From the Associated Press:
“The death of a person hurts very much,” Luisa Ortega Diaz said. “Whether they are with the government or the opposition.”
More than 400 people have been injured and nearly 1,300 detained in clashes since last month’s Supreme Court ruling that stripped congress of its last powers. In an unusual move, Ortega Diaz broke with the government in the immediate days after the decision to denounce it as a “rupture” of the constitutional order. The ruling was later partially reversed amid a storm of international criticism.
On Tuesday, Ortega Diaz took pains not to single out the opposition or the government as bearing the bulk of responsibility for the violence.
“I want to express my firmest rejection to violence as an arm of political action,” she said. “Politics should not lead us to war.”
The Organization of American States (OAS) has called an emergency meeting tomorrow to consider suspending Venezuela. The AP reports OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro says Venezuela has, “deteriorated into a full-scale dictatorship.”
Polls show an overwhelming majority of the populace does not approve of the ruling socialist government and wants elections to allow a change. But not everyone sees the connection between the socialist policies of former President Chavez and current President Maduro and the ongoing crisis. Last week the government expropriated a GM plant, causing it to cease all operations. But the LA Times reports on a former plant worker and union leader who is still sticking with the government line:
“I have done everything to survive in this situation,” said Adan Tortolero, a union leader at the factory, who started working there in 2005. “We have had to sell our things, and take other jobs.”…
Speaking to a group of 400 workers who had gathered at the plant over the weekend to discuss what will happen next, Tortolero wore a ball cap emblazoned with the name “Chavez,” as well as a picture of the leftist revolutionary leader Che Guevara.
The union leader proudly declares his loyalty toward “Chavismo,” the socialist, anti-colonial ideology propagated by the former Venezuelan president, who died in 2013.
Socialism is a hell of a drug. When you’ve lost your livelihood, your access to food and medicine and risk losing your life by walking down the street most people begin to get the message it’s not playing out as promised. But as you can see from the story above, even under those dire circumstances some people will continue to defend a failed dictatorship.